Re: Words and memes

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sat Feb 09 2002 - 18:04:13 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and memes
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    > I would like to take a different tack here.
    > People are not stupid (oh, okay, not totally so). They have the automatic
    > capability to assess what is going on around them, including the flow of
    > language and symbols, and to judge what makes sense or doesn't, and what
    > 'useful' to them or not.
    > We all have hierarchies of values that come into play when we make these
    > judgments. If an idea floating out there seems to enhance the ability of
    > individual to manifest these values (and especially the more highly held
    > ones) he or she will adopt it. (I am simplfying here a bit, and leaving
    > other cognitive elements that also influence the adoption of ideas but
    > mainly as filtering mechanisms that reduce the number of ideas that are
    > going to be judged. Within these filtering mechanisms we also have the
    > ability to reshape the idea we are considering, to discard some of its
    > elements and keep others, or to add to it other elements from other ideas
    > have, thus the mutation of memes within and by the individual.) Ideas will
    > only be taken up if the individual, rightly or wrongly, concluded that it
    > useful to do so. Note that this allows for the adoption of ideas under
    > conditions of group pressure: for those who do it under these conditions,
    > conforming to group standards and all that flows from that is the
    > value achieved.
    > Memes cannot destroy or bypass this judgement-making mechanism: to be
    > adopted they must meet its criteria for adoption. This helps explain why
    > some memes are taken up by some people and not by others: our heirarchies
    > values differ person to person, as do the levels of certainty that we
    > require within our judgment-making processes.
    > Does this model help?

    It seems that your view and mine are on a par here, although I do not
    what you mean by the slogan ' do the levels of certainty that we
    require within our judgment-making processes.'


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